PlayStation's live-action heroes are back, and they're beating the crap out of each other.
Last year, Deutsch L.A. created “Michael,” a two-minute paean to the hardcore gamer. In that spot, actors recreated a host of characters from the console's hit games, congregated in a bar and toasting the deeds of the everyman holding the controller. Today, the agency has reprised a handful of those characters for a Michael-Bay-style fight sequence—part of "The All-Star," another two-minute teaser also shot by “Michael” director Simon McQuoid, for the upcoming melee title, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.
Slated for release Nov. 20 in the U.S., the game lets players pit protagonists from different games against one another. The ad features only four of those protagonists: God of War's Kratos (the big blue muscle-head), Uncharted's Nathan Drake (the scruffy bro touting the shoulder holster and driving the jeep), Infamous's Cole MacGrath (the balding guy with lightning coming out of his mitts) and LittleBigPlanet's SackBoy (the little boy made out of a sack). And as the spot draws to a close, a "Michael"-esque gamer also makes a cameo, in the form of an awkward apology to Kratos, whom he is ostensibly controlling and has just let unceremoniously catch an exploding gas tank in the face.
That’s the kind of storyline likely to delight the console’s diehard fans. The execution is also a rich bit of film work—it builds suspense well, and is packed with details; there are 23 Easter eggs (hidden allusions) sprinkled throughout the spot, according to Deutsch. The agency also teased the ad’s launch with 15-second cuts, including one featuring the apparently gibberish letter that the mistress of ceremonies is punching out on the typewriter. Fans quickly identified the language as Lombax, from the game Ratchet and Clank and deciphered the meaning as “Dear Copernicus, we have received your letter and regret to inform you … ,” an almost equally arcane reference to a character from the same title.
In other words, the ad goes heavy on the inside baseball. While it may feel a little stilted or stunted to the lay eye, it’s still in essence just a teaser—the main event is the game itself. For the less clueless, the spot adds another layer to the fun, further blending the digital fantasy with reality, and smartly amping anticipation for the game's release. Viewers will know right away on which side of that line they fall.
Chief Creative Officer: Mark Hunter
Group Creative Director: Jason Elm
Creative Director: Sam Bergen
Copywriter: Liz Cartwright
Art Director: Stephen Lum
Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo
Director of Content Production: Victoria Guenier
Executive Producer: Paul Roy
Production Company: Imperial Woodpecker
Director: Simon McQuoid
Executive Producer: Doug Halbert
Line Producer: Anita Wetterstedt
Production Services Company: Unit + Sofa, Prague, Czech Republic
Executive Producer: Filip Hejduk
Line Producer: Petra Ondrickova
Editorial Company: Cut & Run
Editor: Steve Gandolfi
Managing Director: Michelle Burke
Executive Producer: Carr Schilling
Head of Production: Christie Price
Postproduction Facility: The Mill
Lead Flame Artist: Tim Davies
Colorist: Adam Scott
Executive Producer: Ben Hampshire
Producer: Adam Reeb
Visual Effects Supervisor: Hitesh Patel
Music: Stimmung Music
Composer: Robert Miller
Sound Design, Audio Post Company: 740 Sound
Sound Designers: Eddie Kim, Andrew Tracy
Executive Producer: Scott Ganary
Audio Post Company: Lime
Mixers: Mark Meyuha, Andrew Tracy